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Text @ theovermensch - thanks for the compliment
Text slavery was an industry
Text Wiencek begins his exploration of Washington's relation to slavery with an account of the president's final will, which freed all of his human "property." It did so in terms that were as explicit, and as binding on his family, as legal language could make them. This reveals not only a firm resolve on Washington's part, but an awareness that his heirs would otherwise try to violate his intent. How did he reach the decision to release his slaves after a lifetime of accepting the old arrangement? Indeed, for a gentleman-farmer like Washington, slavery was not only a fact of economic life but something woven into the very fabric of identity, for one's sense of honor involved knowing how to "handle" one's slaves.